After six productions of Alice! A Ballet Wonderland, Alamo Arts Ballet Theatre is saying goodbye to Alice and presenting The Dancing Princesses, a newly created version of the classic Grimm fairy tale, at the Carver Community Cultural Center on Sept. 28 and 29. The full-length ballet is choreographed for the stage by Alamo Arts Ballet Theatre artistic director Julie Morton-Simpson and executive director Judith Gani.
“We’re so excited to share this new program with San Antonio,” said Gani. “We feature a family-friendly story that many children may already know in some format. There are lots of children’s parts … and what little girl doesn’t want to see princesses on stage?”
This full-length ballet, set to the music of classical composer Ottorino Respighi, follows the tale of a king presented with a mystery. Why do his daughters go to bed every night, only to awaken with shoes that are worn to the nub? The king’s gardener, who has taken a fancy to one of the princesses, decides to solve the mystery, unbeknownst to the king and his daughters.
One night, he follows the princesses through an enchanted forest and across a magical lake to a masked ball, where he discovers an endless array of balletic delights! The production ends happily as father grants his blessing on the marriage of one of the daughters to the handsome gardener.
The show is family-friendly, and includes several parts for children that will enchant young audiences, as kids can see peers their age onstage as flowers, bugs, and other garden critters. Character actor Jason Cox takes the role of the king. Professional dancer Jeremy Rohm plays the part of the gardener, courtesy of Ballet San Antonio. Other professionals and adult and student members of Alamo Arts Ballet Theatre are cast in the other major roles and corps de ballet.
The costumes, designed by Melita Rohm, are inspired by 15th century Italian Renaissance wear. Hence, the music by Respighi harkens back to the same era as dancers move about to the composer’s “Ancient Airs and Dances” suites, which draw on Renaissance-era melodies.
The Dancing Princesses will be performed twice for the general public, on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 3 p.m. at the Carver Community Cultural Center. Area schoolchildren will be treated to two special free performances on Friday, Sept. 27. Tickets for the weekend program are available through ticketmaster.com, or at the Carver Community Cultural Center box office.